Capuchin Poor Clares

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Capuchin Poor Clares Sr. Clara's First Profession.jpg
Capuchin Poor Clares

The Capuchin Poor Clares were founded in Naples, Italy, in 1538, by Ven. Maria Laurentia Longo. The order still exists and it now has groups in the United States. Members are referred to as Capuchinesses. [1]

Naples Comune in Campania, Italy

Naples is the regional capital of Campania and the third-largest municipality in Italy after Rome and Milan. In 2017, around 967,069 people lived within the city's administrative limits while its province-level municipality has a population of 3,115,320 residents. Its continuously built-up metropolitan area is the second or third largest metropolitan area in Italy and one of the most densely populated cities in Europe.

Italy European country

Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a European country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps and surrounded by several islands. Italy is located in Southern Europe, and it is sometimes considered as part of Western Europe. The country covers a total area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and shares land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, and the enclaved microstates of Vatican City and San Marino. Italy has a territorial exclave in Switzerland (Campione) and a maritime exclave in the Tunisian Sea (Lampedusa). With around 60 million inhabitants, Italy is the fourth-most populous member state of the European Union.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.



The order of St Clare or the Poor Clares was founded by St Clare of Assisi in 1212. During the 15th century a French nun, Saint Colette, re-created the original concept of absolute poverty and dedication. This order was established in the 16th century in Italy based on the strict rules of the order's founder. [2]

Poor Clares Catholic order of convent nuns

The Poor Clares, officially the Order of Saint Clare – originally referred to as the Order of Poor Ladies, and later the Clarisses, the Minoresses, the Franciscan Clarist Order, and the Second Order of Saint Francis – are members of a contemplative Order of nuns in the Catholic Church. The Poor Clares were the second Franciscan branch of the order to be established. Founded by Saints Clare of Assisi and Francis of Assisi on Palm Sunday in the year 1212, they were organized after the Order of Friars Minor, and before the Third Order of Saint Francis for the laity. As of 2011 there were over 20,000 Poor Clare nuns in over 75 countries throughout the world. They follow several different observances and are organized into federations.

Clare of Assisi Italian saint

Saint Clare of Assisi is an Italian saint and one of the first followers of Saint Francis of Assisi. She founded the Order of Poor Ladies, a monastic religious order for women in the Franciscan tradition, and wrote their Rule of Life, the first set of monastic guidelines known to have been written by a woman. Following her death, the order she founded was renamed in her honour as the Order of Saint Clare, commonly referred to today as the Poor Clares. Her feast day is on 11 August.

Nun Member of a religious community of women

A nun is a member of a religious community of women, typically living under vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience in the enclosure of a monastery. Communities of nuns exist in numerous religious traditions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Jainism, and Taoism.

Brown habit, black veil, white wimple Brown habit black veil white wimpole.jpg
Brown habit, black veil, white wimple

Maria Laurentia Longo had built a hospital and house that cared for prostitutes. [3] The first community of nuns was formed in 1538, organised by priests from the Theatine order. (The Theatines had been formed fourteen years earlier.) This new body was soon organised not by the Theatines but by the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, usually known as Capuchins. [3] The Capuchin Poor Clares follow the original ideals of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Clare of Assisi. The Capuchin Poor Clares are a cloistered community of contemplative religious sisters. [2] Longo wanted to re-establish the original concepts of religious simplicity, selfless poverty and the austerity of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Clare of Assisi set by Matteo da Bascio when he founded the order of the Capuchin friars. Longo's new order took the same habit design as the men. Like the friars, the nuns wear a simple brown tunic knotted with a cord at the waist and a short cape. The only addition for nuns was a wimple and a black veil. [4]

The Order of Friars Minor Capuchin is an order of friars within the Catholic Church, among the chief offshoots of the Franciscans. The worldwide head of the Order, called the Minister General, is currently Friar Roberto Genuin.

A notable member of the order was Saint Veronica Giuliani who joined the order in Città di Castello in Italy in 1677. She rose to be a mystic and abbess, and in 1839 she was canonised by Pope Gregory XVI. [5]

Veronica Giuliani Capuchin mystic

Saint Veronica Giuliani, O.S.C. Cap., was an Italian Capuchin Poor Clares nun and mystic. She was canonized by Pope Gregory XVI in 1839.

Città di Castello Comune in Umbria, Italy

Città di Castello is a city and comune in the province of Perugia, in the northern part of the Umbria. It is situated on a slope of the Apennines, on the flood plain along the upper part of the river Tiber. The city is 56 km (35 mi) north of Perugia and 104 km (65 mi) south of Cesena on the motorway SS 3 bis. It is connected by the SS 73 with Arezzo and the A1 highway, situated 38 km (23 mi) west. Città di Castello has an exclave named Monte Ruperto within Marche.

Abbess female superior of a community of nuns, often an abbey

In Catholicism, an abbess is the female superior of a community of nuns, which is often an abbey.

In America

In the United States, the Capuchin Poor Clares have monasteries in Wilmington, Delaware, Amarillo, Texas, Alamo, Texas, and Pueblo, Colorado. At Our Lady of Light Monastery in Denver there are nine professed sisters. The monastery in Denver was founded by Capuchin Poor Clare sisters from Irapuato in central Mexico in 1988. In addition to sewing habits, the sisters provide for the needs of their community by making and selling cookies. [6]

Wilmington, Delaware Largest city in Delaware

Wilmington is the largest and most populous city in the U.S. state of Delaware. The city was built on the site of Fort Christina, the first Swedish settlement in North America. It is at the confluence of the Christina River and Brandywine River, near where the Christina flows into the Delaware River. It is the county seat of New Castle County and one of the major cities in the Delaware Valley metropolitan area. Wilmington was named by Proprietor Thomas Penn after his friend Spencer Compton, Earl of Wilmington, who was prime minister in the reign of George II of Great Britain.

Amarillo, Texas City in Texas, United States

Amarillo is the 14th-most populous city in the state of Texas, United States. It is also the largest city in the Texas Panhandle, and the seat of Potter County. A portion of the city extends into Randall County. The estimated population was 199,826 as of 2017. The Amarillo metropolitan area has an estimated population of 276,020 in four counties as of 2017. The metro population is projected to surpass 310,000 in 2020.

Alamo, Texas City in Texas

Alamo, located in the Rio Grande Valley in what is nicknamed the "Land of Two Summers", is a city in the irrigated area of southern Hidalgo County, Texas, United States. Known as the "Refuge to the Valley", it is located in an area of abundant vegetable farming and citrus groves, and is a noted winter resort/retirement town near the Mexico-U.S. border. Alamo is one of the Rio Grande Valley's gateways to Mexico, via U.S. Route 281 and Nuevo Progreso, Tamaulipas, as well as a gateway to the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge. Alamo's population was 18,353 at the 2010 census and an estimated 19,220 in 2016.

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The Colettine Poor Clares are a reform branch of the Order of St. Clare, founded by Clare of Assisi in Italy in 1211. They follow the interpretation of the Rule of St. Clare established by Saint Colette in 1410, originally a French hermit and member of the Third Order of St. Francis.

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Convento de Santa Clara la Real, Toledo building in Toledo Province, Spain

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  1. "Capuchinesses". Catholic Encyclopedia.
  2. 1 2 Poor Clares, Encyclopædia Britannica, Retrieved 3 December 2015
  3. 1 2 Pamela Joseph Benson; Victoria Kirkham (2005). Strong Voices, Weak History: Early Women Writers & Canons in England, France, & Italy. University of Michigan Press. pp. 83–. ISBN   0-472-06881-4.
  4. Capuchine Nun, British Museum, Retrieved 3 December 2015
  5. Veronica Giuliani, Benedict XVI, Retrieved 3 December 2015